OA Saints — Hammersmith & Fulham Ladies

Saints Rumble on

Long-time rivals Hammersmith & Fulham arrived at Woollams expecting a tough battle against their Hertfordshire rivals. Matches between these two sides are often tight with some great rugby on show, this year did not disappoint.

Hammersmith started brightly by taking the game to Saints, testing out the home defence in the first few minutes. Saints fluidly linked early phases, moving the ball well allowing the backs to stretch their legs with promise.

Lineouts were a struggle for the home side, not to their usual high standards. Scrums were holding up under a heavier pack and the Saints backline looked sharp. Surprisingly there were no clear chances or scores in the opening 20 minutes, until some great footwork and agility by McKenna created a try for King, converted by Robertson 7-0 Saints.

From the re-start Saints created their own problems, gifting Hammersmith a scrum. The visitors threatened on several occasions but the home sides defence stood firm turning over ball, although unable to capitalise.

As half time loomed Saints maintained possession and control of the ball. Forwards linking well, set the platform for Robertson to release King for her second score, again converted by Robertson. 14 – 0 Saints.

Just before half time Hammersmith broke in to the home sides 22 through a string of penalties, with Saints also down to 14 from a not so obvious yellow, Hammersmith found space and scored a converted try to close the Saints lead, 14 – 7.
Simple instructions were given at half time to build pressure and create opposition mistakes. Forty minutes of the same for the Saints would see them home for the win.

Despite all the territory and some great play, Saints only scored one more try giving King her hatt trick along with Robertson’s conversion. 21 – 7 Saints.

Momentum was not consistent, constant stoppages of Hammersmith injuries didn’t allow the game to flow, neither side gaining a strong enough hold on events to pull away.

Head Coach Brown said, “Although happy with the result, the performance can be better. We are creating chances, but not clinical enough at this stage to make teams pay. Hammersmith are a good side, pushing us hard throughout. The penalty count was too high and the stop start nature of that slowed us down, when really we should be putting the gas on. This week we will work on 2-3 keys points that the coaches and players feel will make a difference ready for Hampstead in two weeks”.

Kate Barnes
OA Saints Club Captain

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Woollams Pavilion
Old Albanian Sports Club, 160 Harpenden Rd, St Albans AL3 6BB, UK

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